Evidence of Editing Analysis Project

Editing Choices in Professional Film/Video Work


    • What specifically do you want to know about editing for Brian Favorite’s presentation?
    • DAY 1: Find and watch a Youtube.com MovieClip that interests you
      • Write down notes for Thursday
        • What about editing language understanding did you notice?
        • What did you like about the film clip?
        • What question do you have from what you saw?
    • DAY 2: Create a BLOG POST titled “Evidence of Editing: FILM CLIP TITLE”
      • Embed another Youtube.com MovieClip that interests you
      • Create the headings below and answer the questions
        • What about editing language understanding did you notice?
        • What did you like about the film clip?
        • Write what you learned from this week’s editing exercises?
      • Examine example work
    • DAY 2: Fill in the “WHAT WORKED” FORM (Google Form)

Hitchcock’s Rebecca

Disney Pixar’s UP – montage – Carl & Ellie’s Married Life


Walter Murch Rules

  1. Rule 1. EMOTION – Cut for emotion. Does the shot you cut to continue the emotion/feeling? How will this cut affect the audience emotionally at this point in the film? Why is this the MOST important rule according to Walter Murch?
  2. Rule 2. STORY – Advancing the story cuts. Do you understand what is happening? Does this edit move the story forward in a meaningful way?
  3. Rule 3. RHYTHM – Cutting with rhythm. Does the cut happen at the RIGHT POINT? Is the cut at a point that makes rhythmic sense? Like music, editing has a beat. Timing is everything. If the rhythm is off, your edit will look sloppy, a bad cut can be ‘jarring’ to an audience. Try to keep the cut tight and interesting.
  4. Rule 4. EYE TRACE – Lead with eye trace. Where is the viewer’s eye (not the actor’s eyes!) when you cut to the next shot? How does the cut affect the location and movement of the audience’s focus?
  5. Rule 5. TWO DIMENSIONAL PLACE OF SCREEN / 180 DEGREE RULE / 2D place of the camera – Recreate reality on screen. Is your cut logical to where the actors are? Follow the axis 180-degree line.
  6. Rule 6. THREE DIMENSIONAL SPACE / CONTINUITY OF SPACE / 3D space – Physical space in a scene. Do the actors make sense in their space? Is the cut TRUE to established physical and spatial relationships? Similar to the 180-degree rule. Break this rule when you want to disorient your audience (The Shining).
  7. Extra Rule 7. BREATHING SPACE – Allow your viewers time to ‘digest’ what they’ve seen before you move on to the next scene. When shooting a scene allow film / actor / interviewer time before and after / 5 second countdown / silent for 2,1

Best Practices for Editing

 7 Editing Tips That Are Simple And Beautiful  – This Guy Edits

  1. Instead of building a very large timeline by “creating the story” then trimming back, TAKE your BEST SHOTS to the timeline, then keep adding: best visuals first. Time saver and pushes your creative juices to tell the story in ways you would not think.
  2. The audio and visuals should match: if you stray to far, the audience isn’t invested and you ask them to work too hard. Cut picture and sound in a way to have them converge.
  3. JUST LIKE A PARTY – Come late. Leave early. Get right to the action or the point / keep your tension going. Too long on the setup and fizzled out conclusion loses your audience. Start right where it gets interesting — unless you need the set up to reveal character/engross the audience, then make that choice.
  4. Cutting to something tells the audience, “Look over here! This matters!” When you go to a close-up, you made an editorial decision and you are telling the audience: “Look at this, This is matters!” You can exhaust an audience by putting too many things in close up that aren’t that important.
  5. With that said, you have the power as an editor to MISDIRECT an audience’s attention. Showing things not important in close up (intentional). Wide shots make the audience work, figure out things for themselves. Withholding information, using a reverse angle, making the viewer have to figure out how the character you aren’t showing feels.
    • Unexpected editing choices: must still be plausible, yet surprising.
  6. The EYES have it. Murch: Blinking is tied to what the character is thinking (how they are processing information) and how characters are reacting to what is happening around them/us.
    • Blinking can be a powerful editing point: Murch cuts a frame BEFORE the blink – giving power to the editor to decide what the character is processing or allowing the character to decide.
    • Also, eye movement can direct attention to what the character is thinking, looking at, responding to. Powerful and satisfying to the viewer. This is not EYE TRACE.
  7. Editing is instinctual. FEEL your edit! Intuitive. The more you do it, the more you can TRUST the PROFESSIONAL emotions you have developed. Highly tuned looking, watching, feeling things. Okay to make cuts that may not make sense but just feel right to you. (Allow audience TIME TO PROCESS. Pause. Silence. Blank screen.)

13 Creative Film and Video Editing Techniques


Once learned, variations determine your style and artistic stamp as an editor. Remember: It is your STORY and you’re understanding of the concepts allows you to break them, combine them, make them your auteur editing style.

  • Standard Cut / Hard Cut – no meaning or feeling, immersive, advanced story
  • Jump Cut – pushes time forward, gives energy/urgency, cuts inside same shot, deliberate passing of time, similar to the montage
  • Montage – the passage of time, quick transformation by a character, underscored music (Rocky)
  • Cutting on Action – cut while the subject is in action: hard and fast, slow and deliberate (throwing something, turn, going through the door)
  • Cutaway – insert shot then back, referred to, inside the head of the character
  • CrossCut aka Parallel Editing – two characters on a phone, one character knows the other one is coming/suspenseful, flashbacking (inside character’s head)
  • Match Cut – visual or audio (Austin Powers)  / used with action or composition / used in scene transitions from one place to another
  • Smash Cut – abrupt, waking up from an intense nightmare, intense to quiet/quiet to intense
  • Invisible Cut – camera pans to black then up from black / in motion from shot to new shot/whip the camera to new scene/object crosses frame (car drive by) / character leaves frame (The Sting card tricks)


  • J Cut – audio precedes visual creates a seamless flow/transition from one scene to another or within a scene (characters yelling from down to upstairs) audio guides the way/device to introduce new element/lead into what character is thinking
  • L Cut – audio carries over to next shot
  • Cross Dissolve – blend one shot into another montage/passage of time shot, a scene with characters then dissolve to an empty set
  • Wipe – many varieties
  • Fade In/Fade Out – Dissolving to or from black
  • Iris – old school / effect in camera – single out / add attention in frame



  1. Grammar: Writing skills. Clear understanding. Blog entry with correct grammar and spelling usage – 1 Point
  2. 21st Century Skill: Ways of Thinking: Critical Thinking. Did the student’s choice of a film reflect strong editing evidence and pertinent to Murch’s Six Rules of Editing for their blog entry – 1 Point
  3. Reflection: Did the student mention at least one or two terms from the editing presentation on Monday, including Murch’s Six Rules of Editing in their blog entry – 1 Point
  4. Citation: Cite Internet source(s) used to help with your research to write the “evidence of editing” blog entry. For example, looking up a term or technique to find out more. – 1 Point